After five vehicles were stolen or were burglarized within the span of a day, Fitchburg police released some frank advice: Lock your vehicles and homes to prevent from being a victim.

Police started receiving calls about thefts of or from vehicles around 10 p.m. Friday night, according to a news release Saturday, and they continued to get calls into Saturday morning.

Incidents occurred on Lacy Road, Quarry Hill Drive, Byrneland Street, Polworth Street and Patrick Way, according to the release. At least one of the thefts included the taking of a garage door opener from an unlocked car.

In all cases, the thieves were thought to be juveniles looking for car keys or garage openers, the release said, so they can either steal a vehicle immediately or come back later to enter a garage or home.

“This type of activity has occurred throughout our city over the course of the last two years and continues to occur throughout Dane County on a seemingly daily basis,” the release stated. “Most, if not close to all, of our theft from vehicle incidents involve unlocked vehicles.”

In the release, police urged the community to help prevent crimes by taking steps to make it more difficult for thieves to steal from vehicles.

• Keep vehicles and homes locked, including doors between a residence and an attached garage.

• Turn on exterior lights and motion lights.

• Keep valuables out of sight and remove them from vehicles, including your keys and garage door opener.

• Close your garage door closed when not using it.

• Report suspicious behavior and thefts immediately, even if nothing of value was taken.

The department also encourages people who live in the neighborhoods where incidents occurred to check any home security footage they may have.

To contact the department, call 270-4300.

Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.​